Thursday, February 11, 2010
On the Subject of Loneliness
This is stemming off my last post. After having a can of melatonin and rose extracts I was knocked out good lol. But after that post, I reread it and gave it some more thought. The subject of living out of reach of society has been occupying my thoughts heavily. Aside from thinking about my future whenever I sit down to write something on my blog, this time I took some time to think about other people's lives and the affects of loneliness on people.
Cutting yourself off from reality, yet still living in it. Lines like that pop up whenever I think about the stories I've read in my English Literature course. So far all we've been doing is reading short stories about really lonely and depressed people. The professor focused heavily on the gender roles and feminism factors of the stories instead of the loneliness that the characters go through, I was a little disappointed with that =P. She probably did it because of the fact that issues with sexism today are still going on despite all the attempts to erase it. Sexism in the office of w/e is a good subject but I was really interested in the "loneliness" business a lot more. The main reason for that is because people who have problems with depression or really weird abstract behavior, often suffer from extreme loneliness, and this problem has been a part of human society ever since our evolution from homo sapiens.
Well as an otaku I first used anime to get better hold of how loneliness affects us. NHK immediately came to mind. It was truly the very first series that directly confronted the issues of a hikikomori and gave people a better understanding of them. From there I looked further into the hikikomoris and discovered that there are well over a million hikikomoris living in Japan according to Sankaku News, although they said it was more of a number like 3.6 million(don't search it..nasty stuff)... That's a lot of people. Even more disturbing are the news articles I came up about them. In one case the hikikomori had a father who was became determined to bring him back into society, and have an opportunity to live a fulfilling life. In the end the hikikomori resisted and refused to turn away from his lifestlye, his father did not give up, so the hikikomori killed his own father to protect his isolated way of life. Reading this you'd think that the hikikomori is pretty nutty, but there's all different kinds of them. There are hikikomoris who simply just choose to live that way and are able to keep themselves from going insane, often these people are the ones who come up with brilliant works of literature or art. The reason for that is the fact that they isolate themselves from the distractions of a social lifestyle. They begin to see things in humans that we often miss because we're all in such a daze from enjoying being human. From there they pick apart society, human nature, and many many other deep social issues that we tend to avoid. Normally if you keep yourself in this sort of train of thought for a long period of time, it'll cause some social mental issues, even if you were a calm and collective person over time you might have an episode of insanity. In another case a hikikomori was quite a normal fella, he just sported an isolated lifestyle. He got along with his sister and his family very well. But then one day he murdered his sister... his reason for murder? "She was too noisy" =P. But if they keep themselves from going crazy like they can make some brilliant works of art.
Books and short stories are a great resource to find examples of work done by loneliness. Stories like No Longer Human are excellent examples of what might one really really lonely person may be like. Reading short studies from American Literature like "Adventure" can be a real eye-opener to the fact that this "loneliness" disease isn't just in Japan, it's all over the world. So from there I concluded that it's directly connected to the moral factors of what truly makes us human. Without the morals or values of a human what do we become? Insane? Probably, or something around there in that region. Some more research was done and I started watching Nova documentaries (lawl) about the origins of humans. It's a pretty long story and a long documentary so I'll get straight to the point. Our ancestors finally began showing signs of being truly human about 32,000 million years (not sure if thats the right number) when we were Homo Erectus. At that time we had finally begun showing signs of real connection between individuals, we to care for eachother and care about what others think, that is what makes us human, our ability to love and so on. That would be the foundations of one of the unique traits of humans, a cultural society. So when you take away a person's ability to connect with society exactly what happens to them (the troll in me says they turn into losers =P)? Whether or not they evolve or digress from human evolution I'm not sure, but they certainly become different and that's what I'm really interested in.
I might be getting somewhat obsessed with this subject, but it's just so intriguing. There's just so many different things that could happen to an isolated person. I've spent a lot of nights just watching and reading different stories and researching the authors of these stories to learn more, and I started to come up with my own theory on how hikikomoris or "loners" came into existence. But that'll be for another time...